|Japanese Soryu class Submarine (File Photo)|
This week’s Sea State will examine some of the more prominent debates to arise from Australia’s Future Submarine Summit, the most recent forum to hold informed discussion on the trajectory of SEA 1000: the largest defence project in Australia’s history.
The Sub Summit took place on 25 and 26 March in Adelaide, South Australia. A lot of the debate revolved around the build location and the relative advantages of local construction versus offshore sourcing—effectively the contenders for the now-infamous ‘competitive evaluation process’.
That the process has become politicised as was evident from the competing views and priorities put forward by Defence Minister Kevin Andrews and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. Shorten called for the Government to support their ‘bipartisan’ approach of an acquisition process that would include reinstating Sweden, as well as France, Japan and Germany, along with the firm commitment to build the submarine fleet in Australia. Andrews’ response was that Shorten was ‘promising a complete fantasy’, following with: